Dieta del zorro culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus Molina 1782) en un área protegida del sur de Chile

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Se describe la dieta del zorro culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus) en el parque nacional Villarrica, ubicado en la parte andina de la región de la Araucanía, en el sur de Chile. Los ítems más representativos fueron roedores de la familia Muridae, seguidos por lagomorfos y roedores de la familia Myocastoridae. En términos de biomasa, se obtuvo el orden inverso al mencionado anteriormente. Se discute el rol de la transformación del hábitat en el patrón observado, y las especies exóticas en el reemplazo de las nativas en el espectro trófico de este cánido.


Diet of the culpeo fox (Lycalopex culpaeus Molina 1782) in a protected area of southern Chile. We describe the diet of the culpeo fox (Lycalopex culpaeus) in Villarrica National Park, located in the Andean part of the Araucanía region, in Southern Chile. The most abundant items in terms of frequency were rodents of the Family Muridae, followed by lagomorphs and rodents of the Family Myocastoridae. Patterns for biomass were the inverse of the above. We discuss the role of habitat transformation in these patterns and the replacement of native by exotic prey in the trophic spectrum of this canid.

Precipitation drives reproductive activity in male Microcavia australis in the Monte desert

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Desert areas represent heterogeneous environments where animals must reproduce under extreme conditions, and where a combination of environmental factors may contribute to trigger or inhibit reproduction. Microcavia australis is a caviomorph rodent that occurs in arid and semiarid habitats of Argentina. We examined how reproductive activity in male M. australis from a Monte Desert population is responsive to environmental conditions, including precipitation. Our results showed that reproductive activity of these animals is predicted exclusively by precipitation. This research adds new evidence to the ecology of this species, which could explain its wide distribution.


Las precipitaciones conducen la actividad reproductiva en machos de Microcavia australis en el desierto del Monte. Las áreas desérticas representan ambientes heterogéneos donde los animales deben reproducirse bajo condiciones extremas y donde una combinación de factores ambientales puede contribuir para iniciar o inhibir la reproducción. Microcavia australis es un roedor caviomorfo que vive en hábitats áridos y semiáridos de Argentina. Examinamos cómo la actividad reproductiva en machos de M. australis en una población del Desierto del Monte responde a condiciones ambientales, incluyendo la precipitación. Nuestros resultados mostraron que la actividad reproductiva de estos animales es predicha exclusivamente por la precipitación. Este estudio incorpora nuevas evidencias a la ecología de esta especie que podrían explicar su amplia distribución.

Efecto de adultos en el establecimiento de juveniles de Calomys musculinus (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae)

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Bajo la hipótesis de que en poblaciones de clausura los individuos reproductivamente activos de Calomys musculinus excluyen juveniles de su mismo sexo, se probaron las siguientes predicciones: 1) el grado de solapamiento entre áreas de acción (AA) de adultos y juveniles del mismo sexo será menor que aquel registrado entre adultos y juveniles del sexo opuesto; 2) los juveniles se establecerán fuera del AA de adultos de su mismo sexo. Nuestros resultados apoyaron parcialmente la hipótesis; el efecto sexo-específico de adultos reproductivamente activos quedó de manifiesto en el establecimiento de machos juveniles respecto al AA de adultos de su mismo sexo.


Effect of adults in the establishment of juvenile Calomys musculinus (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae). Under the hypothesis that in enclosure populations reproductively active individuals of Calomys musculinus exclude juveniles of the same sex, we test the predictions that: 1) home range overlap degree is lower between adults and juveniles of the same sex; 2) juveniles do not establish within the home range of adults of their same sex. Our results partially support the hypothesis; although reproductively active adults affected the establishment of juveniles, this effect was clearly sex-specific as regards the spatial location of juvenile in relation to adult male home ranges.

Estableciendo límites: distribución geográfica de los micromamíferos terrestres (Rodentia y Didelphimorphia) de Patagonia centro-oriental

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Se analiza la distribución geográfica de las especies de micromamíferos no voladores del sector costero de Patagonia central. Esta región es relevante ya que aquí se produce el engranaje entre las unidades florísticas más importantes de la Patagonia extraandina, la Provincia Fitogegráfica (PF) del Monte y la PF Patagónica. Los objetivos de este trabajo son aportar datos novedosos sobre la distribución geográfica de los micromamíferos costeros entre los 41° 30′ S y 46° 00′ S, describir la composición taxonómica de los ensambles y explorar la fidelidad de sus especies con las unidades vegetacionales mayores. La información fue obtenida de trampeos y muestras de egagrópilas; también se consultaron colecciones científicas y bibliografía. Se trampearon 557 ejemplares y se registraron al menos 4740 individuos a partir de egagrópilas. Se documentaron 2 especies de marsupiales, 12 de sigmodontinos, dos de cávidos, Ctenomys —cuyo panorama específico es incierto— y 2 de múridos introducidos. Se recopilaron 100 localidades con información sobre micromamíferos. Zoogeográficamente, el contacto entre la PF del Monte y la PF Patagónica en el sector costero no es una línea bien definida, sino un ecotono que se extiende desde el río Chubut hasta Camarones en el cual se interdigitan elementos característicos de ambas unidades. La penetración de especies vinculadas a la PF del Monte hacia localidades australes se produce por el sector costero hasta, aproximadamente, Puerto Deseado (47° 45′ S). Por otra parte, los ensambles de la PF Patagónica se diferencian claramente en los sectores elevados de las mesetas del sur chubutense, poniendo en evidencia la influencia de la altitud como condicionante de la humedad, la temperatura y, en última instancia, la vegetación, sobre la distribución de las especies de micromamíferos.


Setting limits: geographic distribution of micromammals (Rodentia and Didelphimorphia) of East Central Patagonia, Argentina. In this contribution we analyze the geographic distribution of non-volant small mammal species of the coastal sector of Central Patagonia. This region is relevant because there occurs the engagement between the major floristic units of extra-Andean Patagonia, the Monte Phytogeographic Province (PP) and the Patagónica PP. The aims of this work are to provide new data on geographical distribution of coastal small mammals between 41° 30′ S and 46° 00′ S, to describe the taxonomic composition of the micromammal assemblages, and to explore the fidelity of their species with Monte PP and Patagónica PP. Data was collected from trapping and owl pellets analyses; mammal collections and specific literature were also employed. We trapped 557 specimens and recorded at least 4740 specimens derived from owl pellets. We found 2 species of marsupials, 12 sigmodontines, 2 cavids, Ctenomys whose specific scenario is uncertain, and 2 introduced murids. We recorded 100 localities with information on small mammals. Zoogeographically, the boundary between Monte PP and Patagónica PP in the coastal sector is not a straight line but an ecotone extending from the Chubut river up to Camarones, including elements of both units. Species related to Monte PP penetrate to high latitudes by coastal fringe until about Puerto Deseado (47° 45′ S). Moreover, Patagónica PP assemblages are clearly recognizable in elevated sectors of southern Chubut plateaus, highlighting the effect of altitude as a conditioning factor of humidity, temperature, and ultimately vegetation on small mammal species distribution.

Efeito do tamanho de área sobre a riqueza e composição de pequenos mamíferos da Floresta Atlântica

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A Floresta Atlântica é uma das principais vegetações do Brasil, mas está ameaçada pelo uso da terra. O estudo objetiva analisar os efeitos do tamanho de área e da conservação sobre a riqueza de espécies de pequenos mamíferos (roedores e marsupiais) nessa formação vegetal. Também, analisa se há um padrão direcional de perdas de espécies entre comunidades ricas e pobres em espécies. Foi realizada uma revisão bibliográfica de pesquisas contidas na literatura sobre pequenos mamíferos em diferentes áreas da Floresta Atlântica, gerando um banco de dados contendo informações sobre tamanho de fragmento florestal, status de conservação e riqueza e composição de espécies. Os roedores revelaram correlação positiva com o tamanho de área, assim como a proporção de roedores de hábito florestal foi correlacionada com o grau de conservação das áreas. A composição total de espécies e a composição de roedores revelaram-se aninhadas com NODF = 23.69 e 24.73 respectivamente (P < 0.001). A fragmentação florestal afeta principalmente os roedores, tanto em relação ao tamanho de área disponível quanto ao grau de conservação. Isto ressalta a relevância da preservação adequada, levando em conta que algumas espécies são vulneráveis à extinção. Pequenos roedores são uma parte importante da diversidade encontrada na Floresta Atlântica, servindo como bioindicadores, enquanto destacam a fragilidade do grupo perante a perda de habitats com o severo ritmo
de fragmentação do bioma.


Effects of area size on the species richness and composition of small mammals in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. The Atlantic Forest is one of the main biomes of Brazil, but it is threatened by the land use. The study aimed to analyze the effects of area size and conservation on the species richness of small mammals (rodents and marsupials) in the biome. It also analyzes if there is a directional pattern of species loss from species-rich communities to those poor in species. We carried out a literature review on small-mammal species composition in different areas of the Atlantic Forest, generating a database containing information about fragment size, conservation status, and species richness and composition. Rodent abundance showed a positive correlation with the area size whereas there was also a correlation between the proportion of forest-dwelling rodents and the degree of conservation. The composition of all species and that of rodents revealed as nested subset with NODF = 23.69 and 24.73 respectively (P < 0.001). Forest fragmentation affects mainly rodents, just in relation to area size and degree of conservation. This highlights the importance of correct preservation of the Atlantic Forest, taking into account that some species are vulnerable to extinction. Small rodents are a comprehensive part of the Atlantic Forest diversity, being bioindicators in this biome, while we highlight the fragility of this mammal group by the habitat loss caused by the severe fragmentation rate of the biome.

The agouti Dasyprocta leporina (Rodentia: Dasyproctidae) as seed disperser of the palm Astrocaryum aculeatissimum

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Some large-seeded plants depend heavily on agoutis for seedling recruitment. The importance of Dasyprocta leporina as seed disperser of the Atlantic Forest palm Astrocaryum aculeatissimum was evaluated using camera-traps and seed removal experiments. Agoutis were registered at 67% of the records obtained through the monitoring of mature fruits; palms were visited from 07:00 to 18:45 h. Dispersal distances ranged from 0.5 to 48.7 m (mean ± sd = 6.8 ± 9.1 m) and most of the removed seeds were buried (57.8%). These results corroborate the importance of agoutis for the seed dispersal of Astrocaryum palms.


A cutia Dasyprocta leporina (Rodentia: Dasyproctidae) como dispersor de sementes da palmeira Astrocaryum aculeatissimum. Algumas plantas de sementes grandes são fortemente dependentes de cutias para o recrutamento de suas plântulas. A importância de Dasyprocta leporina como dispersora de sementes da palmeira da Mata Atlântica Astrocaryum aculeatissimum foi avaliado com o uso de armadilhas fotográficas e experimentos de remoção de sementes. Cutias foram observadas em 67% dos registros obtidos durante o monitoramento de frutos maduros; as palmeiras foram visitadas entre 07:00 e 18:45 h. As distâncias de dispersão variaram de 0.5 a 48.7 m (media ± dp = 6.8 ± 9.1 m) e a maioria das sementes removidas foram enterradas (57.8%). Estes resultados confirmam a importância de cutias para a dispersão de sementes de palmeiras do gênero Astrocaryum.

Small mammal communities in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Huehuetenango, Guatemala

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Very little is known concerning small mammal ecology and their distribution in the highlands of Guatemala. Small mammals were trapped from five different cloud forests in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Cloud forest elevations ranged from 2600 m to 3350 m. Most sites had evidence of human disturbance, with only Cerro Bobí having a relatively pristine forest. A total of 13 species was recorded with the species density at sites ranging from six to ten. Accounts of each species are given. The most common species present was Reithrodontomys sumichrasti, except at Cerro Bobí where Peromyscus guatemalensis was most abundant. Differences between years and between seasons (wet versus dry) were minor. Only the site at Cerro Bobí, with relatively pristine cloud forest, appeared to have a species composition that resembled other cloud forests in the highlands of Guatemala. Information on reproduction is summarized.


Comunidades de pequeños mamíferos en la Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Se sabe muy poco sobre la ecología y distribución de micromamíferos en las tierras altas de Guatemala. Los micromamíferos fueron capturados en cinco diferentes bosques nubosos de la Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Las elevaciones de los sitios de muestreo oscilaron entre los 2600 y los 3350 m. La mayoría de los sitios tenían evidencia de perturbación humana, excepto por Cerro Bobí que tenía un bosque relativamente prístino. Se registraron 13 especies con densidad de especies entre sitios de seis a diez. Las especies más comunes presentes fueron Reithrodontomys sumichrasti, excepto en el Cerro Bobí, donde Peromyscus guatemalensis fue la especie más abundante. Las diferencias entre años y entre estaciones (húmeda versus seca) no fueron significativas. Sólo el sitio en el Cerro Bobí, con bosque nuboso relativamente prístino, parece tener una composición de especies similar a otros bosques nubosos de tierras altas de Guatemala. Adicionalmente, se presentan datos sobre las especies capturadas, incluyendo información reproductiva.

Behavioral counter-strategies against infanticide in corn mouse females, Calomys musculinus

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Based on the hypothesis that in C. musculinus both female territorial behavior and promiscuity are counter-strategies against infanticide by females and males respectively, our objective was to test the following predictions: (1) mother aggression deters infanticide by females; (2) previous matings prevent infanticide by males. We conducted 116 behavioral encounters between mothers and intruders to study the nest related behaviors. Mother-pups units (Mu) were grouped in three treatments in relation to the intruder feature: 55 Mu were placed with siring males, 27 Mu and 34 Mu were housed with non-siring males and reproductively active females, respectively. We also calculated offspring survival rate for each treatment. The nest related behaviors varied among the three groups tested. Mothers showed high rates of aggressive behavior towards females. In presence of siring males mothers remained calm inside the nest. When the intruders were non-siring males mothers exhibited high rates of nest defense behavior. The lowest survival rate was registered in presence of the non-siring males, while the highest rates were registered in presence of females or siring males. The absence of aggressiveness and the high rate of nest defense by mothers against siring and non-siring males respectively, would support that promiscuity acts as a counter-strategy against infanticide by males. Mother aggressive behavior against intruder females would show that female territoriality may be an effective way of pup protection.


Contraestrategias comportamentales contra el infanticidio en hembras de C. musculinus. Bajo la hipótesis de que la territorialidad intra-sexual y el apareamiento múltiple por parte de las hembras de C. musculinus actúan como contra-estrategias para evitar el infanticidio cometido por hembras y machos respectivamente, nuestro objetivo fue probar las siguientes predicciones: 1) la agresión de la madre impide el infanticidio por hembras, 2) los apareamientos previos previenen el infanticidio por parte de machos. Estudiamos comportamientos relacionados al nido en 116 unidades madre-cría (Mc) agrupadas en tres tratamientos en relación a las características del intruso: 55 Mc alojadas con los padres de las crías; 27 Mc y 34 Mc alojadas con machos sin experiencia sexual con la madre y con hembras reproductivas, respectivamente. En cada tratamiento se calcularon las tasas de sobrevida. Las madres fueron agresivas hacia las hembras. En presencia de los padres las madres permanecieron tranquilas en sus nidos. La menor tasa de sobrevida se registró en presencia del macho no padre; las mayores en presencia del padre y hembras reproductivas. La ausencia de agresividad y las altas tasas de defensa del nido exhibidas por las madres hacia los padres y los machos extraños respectivamente, apoyan la hipótesis que propone la promiscuidad como contraestrategia al infanticidio por machos. La respuesta altamente agresiva de las madres hacia las hembras intrusas sería una estrategia efectiva para la protección de sus crías.

La importancia de los nematodes Syphaciini (Syphaciinae–Oxyuridae) como marcadores especifícos de sus hospedadores

La especificidad es uno de los principales atributos de los parásitos. El hallazgo de especies parásitas altamente específicas puede brindar información sobre los hospedadores. Además, la especificidad hospedatoria describe patrones de asociación actual que pueden reflejar la historia macroevolutiva. En este trabajo se analizó la especificidad hospedatoria de los nematodes Syphaciini (Oxyuridae) parásitos de roedores Muroidea (Rodentia) americanos y en particular de roedores akodontinos de Argentina. Por otra parte, con el fin de distinguir posibles eventos evolutivos, los conocimientos taxonómicos, ecológicos y los resultados de especificidad de los nematodes Syphaciini se integraron con la filogenia de los roedores Akodontini. Los resultados mostraron correspondencia entre especie parásita – género hospedador e indicaron que estos parásitos acompañan la diversificación de sus hospedadores. Por lo expuesto, se sugiere que estos nematodes serían de utilidad como marcadores taxonómicos de la historia evolutiva de sus hospedadores.


The importance of Syphaciini nematodes (Syphaciinae–Oxyuridae) as specific marker of their hosts. The specificity is one of the main features of parasites. The founding of highly specific parasite species can offer information on their hosts. Also, the host specificity describes patterns of current association that can reflect the macroevolutive history. The host specificity of the Syphaciini (Oxyuridae) nematode parasites of American Muroidea (Rodentia) and akodontine rodents was analyzed in this study. On the other hand, with the aim of distinguishing possible evolutionary events, the taxonomic-ecological knowledge and the results of specificity of Syphaciini were integrated with the phylogeny of the Akodontini rodents. The results showed correspondence between parasite species – genus host and explain that these parasites accompany the diversification of their hosts. As regarded, it is suggested that these nematodes would be useful as taxonomic markers of the evolutionary history of their hosts.

Efeito do gradiente floresta-cerrado-campo sobre a comunidade de pequenos mamíferos do Alto do Maciço do Urucum, oeste do Brasil

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O Maciço do Urucum é uma região montanhosa localizada na borda oeste do Pantanal, sendo caracterizado pelo contato entre ambientes florestais, savânicos e campestres. Acredita-se que em paisagens como as do Maciço do Urucum, a estrutura da comunidade de pequenos mamíferos seja fortemente influenciada pela diversidade de habitats. Neste estudo procuramos determinar a influência do gradiente floresta-cerrado-campo sobre a estrutura da comunidade de pequenos mamíferos não-voadores no Maciço do Urucum, oeste do Brasil. Para amostrar as espécies de pequenos mamíferos foram utilizadas armadilhas de interceptação e queda, instaladas em manchas de floresta semidecídua, cerrado stricto sensu e em campos de altitude. No total, foram amostradas 10 espécies de pequenos mamíferos não-voadores, nove em florestas semidecíduas, quatro em cerrado stricto sensu e cinco nos campos de altitude. Entretanto, não houve diferença significativa entre os habitats amostrados quanto à abundância, riqueza e diversidade de espécies. As florestas semidecíduas apresentaram quatro espécies que foram exclusivas deste ambiente, enquanto os campos de altitude apresentaram apenas uma espécie exclusiva. Não houve forte influência do gradiente floresta-cerrado-campo sobre a estrutura da comunidade local de pequenos mamíferos, uma vez que nove espécies (90%) ocorreram em florestas semidecíduas. Uma razão para isto é o provável efeito de borda sobre os habitats florestais com relação às espécies de habitats abertos. Finalmente, as espécies registradas neste estudo foram divididas em dois grupos: as generalistas, registradas simultaneamente em florestas e áreas abertas, e as aparentemente especialistas, que só foram amostradas em florestas semidecíduas e nos campos.


Effect of the forest-savanna-grassland gradient on the small mammals of the high Urucum Mountains, west of Brazil. The Urucum Mountains comprehend a hilly region in western Brazil which lies in the western edge of the Pantanal wetlands, being characterized by the contact among forests, savannas and grasslands. It is usually known that the community structure of small mammals is strongly influenced by the habitat diversity. Based on this, we determined the influence of the forest-savanna-grassland gradient in the structure of the small mammal community in the Urucum Mountains. For sampling small mammal species, pitfall traps were installed within semideciduous forests, savannas and grasslands. In total, 10 species were recorded, nine in semideciduous forest, four in savanna and five in grassland. However, there is no significant difference between habitats in relation to abundance, richness and species diversity. Four species were recorded exclusively in the semideciduous forest, and only one was exclusively recorded in the grassland. There was no strong influence of the forest-savanna-grassland gradient on the structure of local small mammal community, since nine species (90%) occurred in semideciduous forest. A reason for this was a probable edge effect on forested habitats with regard to open habitat species. Finally, species recorded in this study were divided in two groups: the generalist species recorded simultaneously in forest and open habitats, and the apparently specialist species recorded only within forests or grasslands.